Who picks your music, and why do you play what you play?

The vision that drives us is the desire to nurture a love of classical music for all. Our mission is to make a positive impact on individuals and communities by championing the power of classical music.

Our Music Department craft playlists that offer the best classical music available from a diverse range of composers and musicians. The core of our audience is looking for uplifting and inspiring music that helps them transcend the stress and challenges of life and deepen their appreciation for the music. Most people are multi-tasking when listening to the radio. Because we want to make classical music a more important part of their lives, we make sure the length, tempo, texture, tone and style of our radio selections are chosen to be compatible with listener activities and behaviors at different times of day. By programming the right music at the right time, we provide the best listening experience for our audience and members.

How do we know what people really want to hear?

Radio is a one to many medium. Our station reaches hundreds of thousands of listeners each week, and our hosts – every time they open their microphone – speak to thousands of listeners at once. Each listener has different tastes, expectations, and needs. We love this programming challenge. Our expert music programmers and hosts are always searching for music you’ll love, and new ways to connect classical music and today’s listeners. We also rely on best practices shared by colleagues in classical music radio area across the country, Nielsen ratings data, our own internal research, and listener feedback.

Why do you repeat the same hits?

We reach hundreds of thousands of listeners each week. Some of them listen for hours a day, some for a few minutes here and there. Our goal is always to delight and surprise our loyal listeners, and to inspire casual listeners to listener longer and more often. We also want to encourage non-listeners to ‘sample’ us and give classical music a chance. Through our various music tests, we know the pieces of music that casual and loyal listeners alike love and want to hear when they tune in. We’ve programmed our station so that even the most loyal of listeners shouldn’t hear the same track, on the same day, in the same hour for a span of 30 days. That listener may hear the same track within a 30-day period on a different day and in a different day part. We are always adding new music to our library, so that alongside these hits, our listeners can hear new and exciting discoveries.

Why do you sometimes only play movement from larger works?

We play a mix of movements and complete works because we want to program music that fit the patterns of how most people listen to our station. That means playing shorter pieces during morning and afternoon drive when people are tuning

in and out for shorter lengths of time and playing full works during middays and evenings. Playing movements or selections from larger works like ballets, symphonies and operas also allows us to increase the variety of music you hear on Classical California.

Why do you play music from movies/soundtracks?

Our research tells us that three out of four listeners enjoy movie music and it causes them to listen longer. We are always trying to expand the love of classical music and attract more listeners. Movie music is an entry point into classical music for new listeners. As new listeners come to us, the traditional ‘definition(s)’ of classical music are not as relevant as they were before.